Smith Academy launches sign language class

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Article Author: Dusty Christensen
Publication Name: The Gazette
Article Date: 9/19/2017
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HATFIELD — Anyone passing by Brittainy Simpson’s classroom last Friday might have mistakenly thought they were witnessing a small miracle: a class of high school students making not a peep, a kind of silence unheard of during the very last period on the last day of the week.

However, although the students were audibly silent, they were all talking together, in many cases at the same time. In fact, they were communicating with the same kind of enthusiasm you’d expect from students on a sunny Friday afternoon.

Simpson and her pupils were chatting in American Sign Language, or ASL, which Smith Academy began offering this year as another option for students wanting to fulfill their language requirement. The pilot program has become popular among students at the school, which is one of the few high schools in the area to offer ASL as a classroom subject.

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